IoT Blog
IoT Blog

Three IoT Predictions About Accelerating Adoption in 2019

Making predictions about the IoT can be tricky because the hype often outstrips reality by so much that realistic predictions seem a bit boring by comparison. However, the following three predictions – fully grounded in reality – point to a very exciting 2019 in which practical, business-changing, life-changing, and life-saving IoT applications will change how we work and play.

Autonomous Car Hype Will Hit a Wall, While Automakers Will Put the Pedal to the Metal on Connected Car Services
Autonomous cars are an exciting proposition, holding the potential for increased safety and reduced traffic. For years, we’ve heard that they’re “just around the corner,” but in 2019, the autonomous car hype cycle will hit a wall as automakers, policymakers and the general public increasingly realize that the new infrastructure and other requirements for fully commercialized autonomous driving will not be generally available or implemented before 2025.

The reality is that while we are beginning to see trial rollouts of autonomous driving services from companies like Waymo, these services can’t be rapidly expanded geographically without extensive work on car-to-car and car-to-road communications infrastructure, the ability of autonomous cars to navigate safely if internet connectivity is lost and a shift in perceptions to get past today’s anxiety and “no-collision tolerance” on the part of the public and government officials.

What will expand in 2019 is the development of new and more powerful connected car services that take advantage of the cost, speed and quality advantages of the 5G cellular wireless networks that are now starting to be rolled out. While automakers delivered around 10 million connected vehicles in 2015, the number is expected to grow to 30 million connected vehicles by 2019. As the number of connected cars increases, we will see a steady enhancement of existing services, such as navigation, infotainment, in-car Wi-Fi and predictive maintenance, as well as the introduction of new services, such as insurance and electric vehicle-specific services.

Over the next year, you’ll still need to keep your hands on the wheel, but driving will certainly become safer, more efficient and more fun. 

Development of the Internet of Life Saving Things Will Increase Dramatically 
Public safety agencies, private companies and IoT product and services vendors all recognize the that the IoT can be used to help us better protect people and property. However, delivering on that potential has been slowed by a struggle to integrate the IoT deeply into wearables, vehicles and other equipment used by first responders, and by the lack of a dedicated, reliable, high-speed public safety wireless network that public safety agencies can depend on for mission-critical IoT applications. 

In 2019, we will increasingly see this status quo changing. States are now rolling out FirstNet, the new high-speed dedicated public safety wireless network that provides first responders and other public safety personnel with the reliable, fast connectivity they need to develop Internet of Life Saving Things (IoLST) applications that can help them do their jobs more efficiently and effectively – and potentially save many more lives. 

FirstNet, along with new Low Power Wide Area (LPWA) technologies and IoT platforms with data orchestration functionality, address many of the barriers that were slowing growth of the IoLST. As a result, in 2019, we will likely see the development of a variety of new IoLST solutions. Examples of potential new IoLST applications include:

• Firefighting helmets fitted with sensors that can measure a fire’s temperature, the presence of dangerous gases and other environmental conditions and send this information to Central Command.
• Automated drones that can be quickly dispatched to active shooter situations and other rapidly developing events, providing video to police on the situation before they arrive.
• EMS personnel bodycams that send hospitals real-time video of patients while the ambulance is still en route. 

Over the past year, we began to see some of the first successful examples of the IoLST introduced, such as Intellinium’s development of a smart safety shoe, which allows workers to send hands-free “Mayday” alerts. You can expect to see more of these types of innovations in 2019. 

eSIMs Will Act as a Catalyst for IoT Growth

For some time now, carriers have resisted the move to eSIMs, hoping their pre-configured SIMs would limit the ability of customers to easily switch providers. However, now that Apple has included an eSIM in its new iPhones, iPads and watches, eSIM adoption will accelerate in 2019, leading to larger scale deployments and increased interoperability across carriers globally. 

The move to eSIMs will help further accelerate the growth of the IoT, as traditional, plastic SIM cards create major logistical and reliability issues for companies deploying IoT solutions with cellular connectivity. Replacing these traditional SIMs with simple, low-touch eSIMs will help the IoT reach its full potential. For example, eSIMs will dramatically simplify IoT device manufacturing and deployment processes. With eSIMs, the SIM essentially disappears, and IoT device manufacturers and owners have network connectivity out-of-the-box, while also being able to select the best service option for their device based on its location and their needs. In addition, eSIMs enable IoT customers to access multiple networks for their devices without switching out SIM cards in the field (a costly option) – an important benefit for IoT applications that require extremely good coverage and quality of service. Finally, eSIMs will make it easier for IoT vendors to deliver complete, fully-managed, easy-to-deploy IoT device-to-cloud (D2C) solutions, with features like data orchestration, that enable customers to get the data they need from their assets, and focus more on the IoT applications themselves.

If your organization is exploring how evolving IoT technologies can allow you to develop, roll out and manage new IoT-powered products or services, Start with Sierra to learn more about how we can help you use the IoT to transform your business and reimagine your company’s future in 2019.